Diallo will have to improve his physicality in the Premier League

Amad Diallo must put on weight to ‘survive’ in the Premier League, claims former Italy goalkeeper who gave him a trial as a kid… but Manchester United new boy’s former coach insists £37m winger is ‘special’ talent despite ‘not being the strongest’

  • Amad Diallo only made five senior appearances for Atalanta, scoring on debut 
  • But it was enough to convince Manchester United to sign him for £37million 
  • Giovanni Galli says he’s going to need to put on a ‘few kilograms of weight’ 
  • Former youth coach Denis Cerlini says he’s physically ‘not the strongest’ 

Amad Diallo’s former youth coach Denis Cerlini says Manchester United’s new signing is a special talent, but former Italian goalkeeper Giovanni Galli has warned he’s going to need to get stronger in order to survive in the Premier League.

Diallo only made five senior appearances for Atalanta, but it was enough for United to splash out £37million, including bonuses, on the 18-year-old winger.

And Cerlini, who coached Diallo at amateur side Boca Barco, is confident he has the talent to prosper in the Premier League.     

Amad Diallo scored on his debut, becoming the first player born in 2002 to score in Serie A

‘From the very first moment, it was evident the kid was special,’ Cerlini told BBC Sport.

‘He was very bold and quick, possessed great technique and a strong shot, and executed everything at great speed.

‘Amad was popular in the dressing room. He made a lot of friends, learned Italian and seemed to be a very determined guy who knew exactly what he wanted.’

Cerlini’s only concern is the Ivorian’s physicality. 

‘Physically, Amad wasn’t the strongest at Boca Barco, and his heading abilities aren’t good,’ Cerlini added.

Giovanni Galli (centre) spotted Amad Diallo as a 12-year-old while working with Lucchese

It’s a concern shared with Galli, who was instrumental in Diallo’s move to Atalanta due to spotting him while he was playing for Boca Barco.

‘He must add a few kilograms of weight in order to survive in the Premier League,’ Galli said.

If Diallo does strengthen, then Galli said that he’s got everything else to star for United.

‘A friend asked me to take a look at two guys – Amad and his older brother Hamed Junior Traore, who plays for Sassuolo nowadays,’ said Galli, who played for Italy in the 1986 World Cup.

‘I quickly saw they were simply too good for us. Amad played with bigger boys and drove them insane with his dribbling. 

‘Therefore, I made a few calls to Serie A clubs in order to tell them about the guys. At Atalanta, I spoke to the sporting director Gabriele Zamagna, and they duly signed Amad. 

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